12. Beyond Medline

While Medline is the pre-eminent index for dentistry articles, some other indexes can also be very useful.

Index to Dental Literature:

This printed index is available in the Dental Library. Since Medline only goes back to 1966, the Index to Dental Literature is indispensable for finding earlier articles. (Another print index which can be useful for pre-1966 health sciences articles is Index Medicus, which is also available in the Dental Library.)

Science Citation Index:

The Science Citation Index is part of the Web of Science. This database is particularly useful if you have already found an interesting article, and you want to know what other articles have cited it (because those other articles might contain related information of interest).

To find articles which cite a certain article, do a CITED REF SEARCH.


Let's say the article that you found interesting was "Taurodontism in 45,X females", (article by J. Varrela, L. Alvesalo, and J. Mayhall, published in Journal of Dental Research. 69(2):494-5, 1990 Feb). Say you want to find articles that cite this article. You would follow the instructions on the screen and use the journal title abbreviations in the Web of Science list. So your search would look like this:

Cited Reference Lookup screen

Your results would look something like this:

Hits screen

In the above results, the number of Times Cited is the number of articles in the database which cite your article (i.e., which cite "Taurodontism in 45,X females"). Check the box next to your article, and then click:

Finish Search

You will get a list of the articles which cite your article:

Results screen

You can also search the Science Citation Index for articles on a specific topic. Do a GENERAL SEARCH by TOPIC. This index uses keyword searching, not subject headings, so it helps if you think of synonyms for your topic.


microwear AND (tooth OR teeth OR dental)

You can sort the results in various ways -- by date, by the number of times the article has been cited, etc..

The Cochrane Library:

The Cochrane Library is the premier source of evidence-based health sciences information. It is part of a movement to promote clinical decision-making based on evidence of effectiveness. The Cochrane Library contains:

To browse the systematic reviews produced by the Cochrane Oral Health Group, click TOPICS and then select Oral Health.

To learn how to search for a particular subject, click Search Tips.


If you're used to Ovid Medline, Embase (which stands for "Excerpta Medica Database") will look familiar, because U of T purchases both of these indexes from Ovid Technologies. Embase indexes a wide range of health sciences journals, with a significant focus on drug research and pharmacology, and it includes selective coverage of dentistry journals. While there is overlap between Embase and Medline, each one indexes some journals that the other doesn't.

Don't search two different Ovid indexes at once (e.g., don't search Ovid Medline and Ovid Embase at the same time). Do two separate searches, since each database has its own structure and its own official subject headings. That way you'll get better results.

Digital Dissertations:

This is a database of Master's and PhD dissertations from various universities (including U of T). It contains full-text dissertations from 1997 on. For dissertations prior to 1997, it just includes citations or abstracts.

Use the Keyword field to search for words within the dissertation title or the abstract. Think of synonyms the authors might have used.

The Subject field can be used to narrow your search to a broad field of study such as Dentistry.


DigitalDissertations screen

Other indexes:

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All contents copyright © 2004, Margaret Fulford. All rights reserved.